According to reports, the first 14 M1A1 FEP Abrams tanks along with 3 M88A2 Hercules armored recovery vehicles arrived in Poland on June 28, 2023.

The Ukraine conflict has created an unusually large demand for tanks, and Europe has become the world’s largest market for these main combat vehicles. Poland is currently leading the way as a powerful ground force. Warsaw has announced an ambitious plan to put a huge number of tanks into service. We are talking about an order for 250 M1A2 Abrams SEPv3 tanks and another 116 of the M1A1 FEP version. Besides, there are 180 Korean K2s and another 820 localized K2PL versions. Once completed, the Polish Army will be able to increase its total number of tanks to 1,366, which, together with about 240 Leopard 2s in different versions, will form an “iron fist” of more than 1,600 MBTs.

According to reports, the first 14 M1A1 FEP Abrams tanks along with 3 M88A2 Hercules armored recovery vehicles arrived in Poland on June 28, 2023. The vehicles were then delivered to the Military Automotive Works (WZM) in PoznaΕ„ for maintenance. Following the general overhaul at the factory, the vehicles were processed in the US, for shipping to Europe. Following the deprocessing, the main battle tanks and the ARVs would undergo an inspection to verify whether they match the specifications outlined in the documentation. Next, the vehicles would undergo handing-off procedure, before being handed over to the Polish Army.

These tanks are refurbished ex-USMC M1A1 FEP versions, valued at $1.4 billion. 116 M1A1 FEP Abrams main battle tanks will be delivered to Poland between 2023 and 2024, to accelerate equipment replacement to fill the gaps caused by the transfer of equipment to Ukraine. The M1A1 FEP Abrams main battle tanks, standing for Firepower Enhancement Package, with that designation being used to refer to the upgraded Abrams main battle tanks used by the USMC. These main battle tanks would be modified to meet the requirements of the Polish Armed Forces.

M1A1FEP (Firepower Enhancement Package) is USMC equivalent to US Army M1A1SA, it differs however in smoke grenades dischargers type and other minor modifications. The M1A1 features a powerful gas turbine engine, Honeywell AGT-1500 being able to produce 1500HP coupled with modern X-1100-3B hydrokinetic transmission, this powerpack can use a variety of fuels, including jet fuel, gasoline, diesel and Marine Diesel. It can reach a maximum road speed of approximately 68 km/h with a maximum cruising range of 426 km.

One of it’s most notable features is the separate ammunition storage in a blow-out compartment for crew safety, which means that even if ammunition starts to cook off, flames and gas pressure energy will be released away from the crew and vehicle itself, while armored blast doors will contain them away from vehicle interior. Ammo storage in this tank is 42 rounds total, 36 in turret bustle magazines, and 6 in hull magazine placed between turret and engine compartment.

The main armament of the M1A1 Abrams is the 120mm M256 smoothbore gun, developed by Rheinmetall Waffe Munition GmbH of Germany. The gun can fire various types of ammunition, as the M829A1 APFSDS-T ammunition. The hull and the turret of the M1A1 Abrams are based on Chobham armor developed in the UK and give protection against ATGWs and other battlefield weapons. The tank has a crew of four including a driver, commander, gunner and loader.

According to the Firepower Enhancement Program (FEP), the Abrams M1 tanks receive improved day and night fighting capabilities. The program envisages increasing the range of detection and destruction of targets. All this Abrams has to do in all weather conditions. The main component of the program is the integration of a new thermal sight. It improves the tank crew’s ability to perform better detection, identification, and recognition while having an increased field of view.

The first batch of Abrams M1A1 FEP has already arrived in Poland, but it is small and symbolic. Poland will receive Abrams M1A1 FEP tanks in various batches. While waiting for the more advanced M1A2 SEP v3, the M1A1 FEP will be the solution to quickly replace the T-72 fleet that has been transferred to Ukraine.

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